Sales managers in leading companies admit that if a sales rep follows all the steps of a visit to a retail outlet, the revenue can be increased up to 40%. So what actions are necessary for such an increase in sales and how can a manager assist a sales rep? Read our article to find out.
Step 1. Preparing a sales rep
Preparation starts beforehand with a planner. It is a list of clients the sales rep is planning to visit. It is important not just to come to the client but rather set out goals, define needs, and work out possible objections in advance. According to experienced salespeople, up to 50% of success depends on a clear plan.
Provided that drawing up such a planner becomes a part of a daily routine, the specialist will spend no more than 10-15 minutes on this task. This also makes sales reps easier to monitor: the sales manager will always know the exact route of the employee and will be able to adjust the goals if necessary.
To ensure that employees have time to visit all the scheduled clients, the B2Field team has developed a route optimization. The service automatically generates a route for the day, taking into account the proximity of objects and the planned time of the visit. All you have to do is point out all the outlets the sales rep is supposed to visit.
Step 2. Retail outlet evaluation
Your sales rep has arrived at an outlet on the agreed route. What should they do first? We recommend they start with evaluating the store. The sales rep needs to inspect the sales floor, equipment, and showcases. This will help them understand what items can be offered additionally and what improvements can be made to increase the visibility of goods in the showcase.
Step 3. Greeting
After examining the sales floor, the rep is ready to meet with the decision maker — they already have the initial data that will help in communication and working out any objections. We recommend to include the decision maker’s phone number and name in the client card, which is available to the employee in the X-GPS Tracker mobile application from B2Field.
We recommend adding a greeting reminder to the sales rep’s checklist. It might seem a very simple and unnecessary step, but employees often overlook it, which is a shame — such an approach could really help to win over your interlocutor. Remind the sales rep to smile, clearly state their name, job title, and company.
It might be helpful to indicate the purpose of the meeting — the outlet managers receive numerous sales reps throughout the day, and it is important for them to know what tasks specialists from other companies perform. In addition, this will help avoid conflicts that might arise due to uncoordinated actions.
Step 4. Holding a presentation
If the client is new or there is a new product in stock, the greeting is normally followed by a product presentation. This step of the visit to the retail outlet includes:
- Analyzing the client’s needs. The rep must find out what challenges the store is facing, this would enable them to better present the product and explain how it might help them solve those challenges.
- Selling benefits is exactly what the client needs. The product should help them make more money, attract new customers, and build a reputation as a store with a high quality product range.
- Overcoming objections when necessary. As a rule, most talking points are recurring at different retail outlets and counterarguments can be prepared in advance. And if the help of a more competent employee is required, the sales rep can use the chat in B2Field mobile application.
- Closing the deal or making arrangements on order, layout, and placement of equipment.
Step 5. Stocktaking
If no presentation is required, the sales rep proceeds to work on the sales floor. The next step of the visit to the retail outlet is checking the product availability. The rep should pay attention to those items that have sold out completely or are running out. It is also important to assess the showcase for free space on the shelves — there you can place products from the range, which the client has not yet ordered.
Sales rep’s checklist
Once they are done with stocktaking, the sales rep will be able to make a more precise offer and, subsequently, order. This helps to build a trusting relationship with the client: the sales rep does not just want to sell as much as possible but takes into account the needs of the outlet.
Step 6. Merchandising
In some companies, sales reps also act as merchandisers. If this is the case for you, add the following items to your checklist:
- restocking the items that are missing from the shelf,
- reviewing layout,
- checking the price tags.
We advise you to attach a planogram and other supporting materials to the task or client card. This will help the sales rep do their job properly.
Step 7. Visit analysis
Experienced sales reps know that you should analyze the visit shortly after, otherwise some of the information will simply slip out. It is important to understand what worked out during the meeting, what helped to achieve the desired result, and what is yet to be improved. Following this “error correction”, it will be easier to build a relationship with the client and find the very features that distinguish your employee from the rest.
Sales rep’s checklist
Step 8. Filling out the report
At the end of the visit, in addition to the data already filled out, the sales rep prepares an internal report for the manager, where they specify the name of the sales outlet, the time of the visit and its duration. In B2Field such a report is generated automatically. The advantage of this approach is in its reliability: the report cannot be faked because the data is input without the employee’s involvement. They won’t have to waste time on it, and the main focus will be on the main task — sales.
These reports are stored electronically, so you can access them anytime, anywhere.
B2Field tools will help you follow the checklist
Each of the 8 steps is essential and requires a sales rep’s attention and concentration. B2Field’s program for sales reps helps the field employee follow all the steps of the retail outlet visit and comply with company standards. The X-GPS Tracker mobile app will be of great help and will prompt the employee if they have missed a step: the checklist is available on a tablet or a smartphone.